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104 AmaWaterways AmaCerto Cruise Reviews

Well I could tell you so much but will try and keep it relevant to the AmaCerto and the route we took. We did the Blue Danube Discovery from Budapest to Nuremburg but as we are from the UK we made our own travel arrangements so did not ... Read More
Well I could tell you so much but will try and keep it relevant to the AmaCerto and the route we took. We did the Blue Danube Discovery from Budapest to Nuremburg but as we are from the UK we made our own travel arrangements so did not stay in Budapest or do the Prague extension. Arrival / Check In Very smooth, members of the crew met our taxi and took our luggage straight to our cabin. At check in they provide you with plenty of reading material so that they don't have to blind you will all the details at once. This gives you chance to go through the schedule, how things works, times, payment etc. They asked you to lodge a credit card with reception but as we were paying cash they didn't require one. They do not however take Mastercard Travellers Cash Passport cards it has to be a card with your name on it. Cabins Our cabin was 206 on the middle Violin deck. We had a sliding French balcony and a walk on traditional balcony which most cabins on the middle and top decks have. The French balcony is more than enough and all of the cabins were much the same except the staterooms which had a bath tub as well as a shower. Beds were very comfortable and plenty of wardrobe space, shelves and under bed storage. Rooms have fridges with bottle water replenished daily. Bathrooms have a large cabinet and the shower is superb with plenty of room. Bathrooms are not dark as they have a window in them which you can make clear/opaque using the light switch. Seems strange at first but you appreciate the light which is missing in most hotel bathrooms. We were able to lie in bed and open the balcony doors and watch the world go by. Our cabin steward was a delight and was never very far away to attend to anything we needed. Plenty of sockets to charge phones, ipads etc. Wifi worked in our cabin as well as the TV (mainly news channels for English speakers) and channel 1 gave you a front camera view as well as access to public announcements. Each cabin has 2 umbrellas which came in use on one of our trips. Public Areas This is predominantly the main lounge and the restaurant below. Talks, receptions all take place in the lounge. There were always biscuits, fruit, water and iced tea available along with a coffee/tea machine 24 hours a day. An early risers breakfast (6.30-7.30am) is served as well as a late risers breakfast (9.30-10.30) in the lounge. Between 7.30-9.30 main breakfast is served in the restaurant. The lounge leads out onto a covered deck and provide access up to the sun deck. The restaurant is made up of tables for 4, 6 and 8 people with two private dining areas for 8 people. You can sit where you like but staff will always escort you and seat you if required. After a couple of days people have made friends with most of the passengers and it is great to sit with different people. The sun deck provides a pool (fresh towels provided), a giant chess game, sun loungers, sun shades, a walking track, a lower chill put area with comfy seats and sofas with cushions. The pool was very warm and it was great to sit on the submerged bar stools with a cocktail. Sometimes the sun deck is out of bounds as everything folds down (including the bridge) to navigate low bridges. The lower deck with the sofas is always available though. The chefs table restaurant at the rear provides a great view of the river and had a great atmosphere. There is a set menu with a choice of two entrees. You should book this restaurant as soon as you arrive as we embarked at 2pm on the first day and already there were 3 days that were fully booked. Excursions These were well organised and you are given a sign up sheet on arrival so that you can make a choice as some excursions are run simultaneously. Each excursion was made up of different groups identified by colours depending on ability. You collected a coloured card and a boarding pass each time you leave the ship and your guide is the one with the corresponding AmaCerto wooden paddle. The guides were very good, knowledgeable and funny. They provided you with an overview for about an hour to an hour and a half and then let you go for some free time. I would definitely recommend these guides just to get your bearings. In Vienna, Mel and Nuremburg buses were provided, the rest of the time you can walk directly off of the ship. We didn't get to stop at Linz, only to let the Salzburg excursion off at 8am and we then continued to Passau and I believe if you travel the other way you miss out Passau. Highlight of the excursions was the bike ride from Durnstein to Melk. Such a fun day, all flat along the riverside cycle path with such beautiful scenery. You actually ride faster than the ship and there was quite a bit of banter and words of encouragement being shouted from the sun deck from those not brave enough to join us. Food The food was never ending and of a high quality from the 7 chefs on board. With a huge buffet for breakfast and the option on a light lunch in the lounge or sit down in the restaurant as well as at least 5 courses each evening and we NEVER went hungry. It was great to try the different regional wines and dishes as well as the various demonstrations on how to make apple strudel by the pastry chef and the Bavarian sausage morning. There was always a fish and a vegetarian option as well as the main beef or lamb dish. If you didn't want any of those they had their standing order menu where you could order something plain such as salmon, steak or burgers or convert anything to a main course salad. The last evening was 7 courses and had a real party atmosphere with all the waiters dressed in black tie and tails. Don't forget to tell them if you have a birthday or anniversary as they celebrate with a cake and indoor fireworks with everyone celebrating. Disembarking This is very well organised. Depending on whether you are going on to the Prague/Budapest extension or have made your own arrangements you are given a coloured luggage tag and asked to leave your luggage outside of your cabin at your assigned time. Your luggage is then transferred to your bus or to the quayside ready for you to disembark. If you need a taxi then there is a sign up sheet in reception and they arrange it for you. General Comments On the whole we couldn't fault it, we made some wonderful memories and met some truly fantastic people. As the only English couple on board we were made to feel very welcome internationally and made some lovely American and Canadian friends. We would have liked to have spent a bit longer in some ports but it gave us a great snap shot of places that we will perhaps return to. There was a lot more sailing than I have expected, I think I imagined sailing all night and arriving at the next destination by morning but some days we sailed at 6pm and didn't arrive until 2pm the next day. I think the bike riders should have set off a bit earlier and had lunch ashore as we were pushed by this very forceful cycle guide who does the route every day to reach the ship in time to meet the bus to travel up the abbey in Melk. If they had let us leave around 11am then we could have cycled at a more leisurely rate but then again this could have been to an over enthusiastic guide. I am more than happy to answer any further questions you may have and we are now looking at booking a Rhine cruise for 2014! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
While I ve taken 8 previous river cruise,this was my first with AMA and also on the new longships with 2 balcony option. I chose this cruise for Prague to Budapest itinerary first,,then picked the AMAcerto because I wanted to try this ... Read More
While I ve taken 8 previous river cruise,this was my first with AMA and also on the new longships with 2 balcony option. I chose this cruise for Prague to Budapest itinerary first,,then picked the AMAcerto because I wanted to try this line which got good reviews and also the new type ships. It was worth it to get the 2 balcony cabin and size of room was 210 sq.ft....larger than I ve been on in past. The staff and food were more than adequate.Buffet and set menu for breakfast and lunch,with dinner being in main dining room with menu selection that varied each day. Tours were offered every day,,usually city bus and walking tour.Did have optional ones. Hotel in Prague was centrally located and easy to get around city.The Intercontinental is undergoing refurbishment and some had sound issue from construction.But ended at 5pm. The cruise manager was informative and helpful. Did offer a chef's table restaurant,,had to sign up for..only problem was it only offered set courses,,no substitutions.If you didnt like offering(which I didnt) ...out of luck.Menu didnt change thru cruise and only 1 time per person there...which was fine with me. All things considered..I d take another cruise with this company and loved the new longship design.Esp.the regular balcony.Made room feel much bigger and allowed opportunity to sit outside and enjoy views. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Our first river cruise on the delightful AmaWaterways "AmaCerto" from Budapest to Vilshofen on the Danube river was a wonderful, memorable experience. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the cruise and the add-ons in ... Read More
Our first river cruise on the delightful AmaWaterways "AmaCerto" from Budapest to Vilshofen on the Danube river was a wonderful, memorable experience. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the cruise and the add-ons in Munich, Budapest and Prague, all uniquely beautiful and interesting cities. The boat itself was lovely. Brand new (this was only AmaCerto's fifth cruise), the vessel was clean, well laid out and stylishly furbished. Cabins are understandably a bit smaller than on the bigger ships but had quite sufficient storage space. The only minor criticism is with the strange triangular lay out of the minute shower that makes it difficult to do anything but get wet when in the confined space! We had a cabin with a french door configuration. The more costly cabins have both a french door and a full balcony. Interestingly, we did not miss a balcony at all. With the french door open it was just as if one was sitting on a balcony in any event and frankly, the extra cost of the balcony on a river boat seems to be an unwarranted expense as they are unusable for much of the time particularly when docked. As is typical of all river cruises, the boats tend to dock in stacked fashion adjacent to each other so, unless one is an inveterate voyeur who delights in staring into the cabin windows of the adjacent boat, it is advisable to keep ones curtains drawn! However, the balcony class cabins are probably about 20% bigger so perhaps the extra space justifies the additional cost. It is difficult to find fault with the Amawaterways brand. The almost all inclusive nature of the river cruise experience makes it a compelling option. Three plus meals a day with gourmet style dinners often featuring regional specialties, unlimited free bottled water, unlimited wines and beers at dinner ( generally quite quaffable but occasionally of questionable provenance!), included guided tours in each destination with excellent, knowledgeable local guides, welcome and farewell drinks with the Captain together with some unexpected "extras" such as a visit to a regional wine bar in Venice, a "beer fest" organised free by the Town Council of Vilshofen especially for Amawaterways, and the occasional free drink offered at lunch, can all be added to the plus side of the balance sheet. However,we found the overall experience to be somewhat restrictive, especially with the lack of any real alternative dining options on board. Having to take almost all meals in only one dining venue becomes somewhat tedious. The AmaCerto has a main dining room used for breakfast, lunch and dinner capable of seating all guests at one sitting. The only alternate dining venue is a small 20 seater speciality restaurant open only for reserved dinner to which each guest is only entitled to make a reservation once per seven night cruise to give all guests the opportunity to experience the excellent speciality menu. Apart from these a limited snack lunch is served in the bar/lounge area daily. Surprisingly, no use was made of the top sun deck for al fresco dining despite the weather being pretty good on a number of days during the cruise. Serving a limited menu such as brockwurst rolls and salads on the sundeck could make a delightful alternative luncheon option while slowly cruising through the beautiful surrounds of Central Europe. We have usually found that an ocean cruise of between 12 to 15 days to be just about right. However, because of the number of towns and cities visited in such a concentrated period (sometimes as many as three different destinations in a single day), we found the seven night river cruise to be about optimal - anything longer could have been too hectic and tiring. Destinations visited were all worthwhile and interesting. In each port an included tour was offered - normally a walking tour, sometimes a coach tour and on some occasions a combination of both. Local English speaking tour guides were knowledgeable and universally excellent. Interestingly, walking tours are split into gentle and active walker groups to enable passengers with mobility difficulties to tour at a more gentle pace while not limiting the needs and sight-seeing expectations of the more active guest. There was even a tour group that catered for the late risers! All guests are issued with an audio headset to make it easier to follow the commentary the commentary of the tour guide - especially useful on walking tours. Only three optional tours were not included in the tour price, all in Vienna. The one we went to was the obligatory Mozart/Strauss concert which was enjoyable if perhaps overrated. Other optional tours (all by coach) - a choice between a visit to the beautiful city of Salzburg, or to the picturesque Grumden Lake district or the historic UNESCO protected Czech village of Cesky Krumlov, were included at no extra cost. Entertainment options on board a vessel the size of a river boat are obviously limited. An excellent resident pianist delighted guests with his unobtrusive melodies most afternoons and evenings while on a number of occasions regional dancers or musicians were brought on board to entertain guests in the lounge/bar area. On one evening in Vienna an included visit to a local "Heuringer" (wine tavern) was organised where guests enjoyed an evening of wine and music. We are pleased we added short stays in Munich and Budapest before the cruise and are very happy we chose an AmaWaterways Prague add-on option. All three cities are just so full of culture. The history, art work, statues, monuments, music, majestic and historic old buildings of old Europe are absolutely awesome. We took organised tours in all cities but probably most enjoyed just ambling around on our own soaking in the ambience, history and culture of these delightful gems of central Europe. Have we been converted to river cruising? As indicated, we found the experience to be bit too limiting. However the wife seems to be far more enthralled with the river boat option so we could be in for some interesting negotiations when we start to plan our next adventure after we complete an Oz/New Zealand cruise next year that has already been scheduled! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Four of us celebrating our 75th and 80th birthdays this year decided to celebrate with a river cruise in May. We compared several cruise lines, read reviews, checked itineraries and amenities and chose AMAwaterways Prague to Budapest. We ... Read More
Four of us celebrating our 75th and 80th birthdays this year decided to celebrate with a river cruise in May. We compared several cruise lines, read reviews, checked itineraries and amenities and chose AMAwaterways Prague to Budapest. We were not disappointed. AMA delivered what we wanted and more. We booked our flight and 4 day pre cruise in Prague on our own. However, AMA let us purchase the transfer from Prague to Vilshofen where we boarded the brand new Amacerto. This was easily done, all we had to do was meet the bus at the Intercontinental in Prague where we joined the other cruisers. The ship was beautiful. Our 170 sq. ft. cabin with French balcony was luxurious and more than comfortable. We enjoyed sitting by the balcony to view the passing scenery and certainly did not see the need for a double balcony. A small refrigerator was a welcome surprise. The closet with shelves held all our clothes and had ample hangers. The bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom though small accommodated all our toiletries etc. The clothesline in the shower was very useful. The lounge was the venue for beautiful music provided by our pianist Mathias, who had us dancing on a few nights. The local entertainers brought on board were top notch and we enjoyed them all. There was always something to snack on any time of day, sandwiches, cookies, small cakes and refreshing ice tea and lemonade. We used the 24 hour tea and coffee stati, to our cabin steward Toro, who always left us a little treat at nighton several times a day. The library behind reception was a quiet spot with books, games and puzzles. The breakfast and lunch buffet provided soup, salads, hot and cold dishes, fruit and desserts. There were only two choices of entrees at dinner but what we had was excellent and the free flowing wines were all very good. One night we dined in the Erlebnis restaurant in the back of the ship where the view was beautiful, and a nice change from the crowded dining room. For the daily excursions we appreciated that we could choose our level of walking, which was the "gentle walking" group. The guides were all very knowledgeable and informative, and the vox boxes allowed us to hear everything even if we wandered off to take pictures. After a full day of walking I was glad there was an elevator on board. The entire staff really took care of us, from Captain Jan with whom we dined on Captain's night, to our cabin steward Toro who left us a treat every night, Lazlo our funny and friendly waiter, and the lovely receptionist who helped me with my Ipad. Everyone was friendly and helpful and AMA should be proud of them. Last but certainly not least, our tireless, lovable cruise director Cheri Coll. Everything she arranged was perfection. She made us feel so special when she woke up at 3 a.m. to see us off when we disembarked to catch our early morning flight. Folks, you can't go wrong with AMA - 5 stars in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
AmaCerto Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.9
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.8
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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